Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.

Published on www.acadun.com

The Netherlands

28th June 2013



What does expectation mean?


In simple terms expectation means a strong belief that something will and should happen or a hope for what should not happen. No man is certain what may or may not happen in a day, because anything could happen. Hence, expectation is either a strong belief or a hope. Present-day man has expectations for the present as well as for the future. Man is even advised to have great expectations in life. But no man is certain of the future and, therefore, expectations are justified because they keep spirits high.


Man wants good things to happen to him. This is because he wishes to live happily and wishes the same for his children too. And when man does not get what he wants, he has expectations. His ‘wants’ are that which makes him happy. Everyone has expectations without exception: the rich, the poor, the healthy, the sick, the abled, the disabled, the educated, the uneducated, the religious, the spiritual, the knowledgeable, etc. Therefore, expectations prevail right through the fabric of society.


Life is compassionate. It has made expectations to keep fear away and make daily life easy for man to live. Man believes his expectation will be fulfilled some day and this is a never-ending story of man. The story will continue as long as man believes he is the doer.


Expectations exist so that man may understand that he is not the doer. So, man needs to understand that he is not the doer to be free of expectations. By expectations an opportunity exists for man to realise that life does not flow as the mind expects life to flow. This happens when man understands that the mind controls neither life nor daily life.


Life happens to man. He neither makes it nor is able to stop it from happening to him. He can neither see the moment life happens to him nor can he stop the moment. If he could, then he would be in control of his life, and man understands that he cannot control the way his life unfolds.


If time were present within a moment, man would be able to see the moment, as anything that is seen is in time. Time is absent within a moment in life and, since life happens every moment, time is obviously absent in life. Time is, therefore, illusory and not an actuality in life. To do anything, man would require time. As time is absent in life, and the sages have proclaimed that it is absent, it is impossible for man to do anything, and the sages have also proclaimed that man is not the doer. It is therefore illusory to believe that man can do. When man understands that he is not the doer, he realises that life gives every man what he needs and continues to do so every day.


So what do expectations mean? When man understands that he is not the doer, he lives fearlessly without expectations. He will realise that life gives man many opportunities to trust life.


Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2013


Comment editor:

Dear Vijai,
Here is a man, here is a woman, here is a child: each one  lives, has lived and will live conditioned in mind to respect time, action and expected outcome. It is the way life is and how life should be lived. No one would disagree, nor is there anything wrong with this-all illusory thought.
Here is a sage, an enlightened being, who has stepped beyond mind. He has come to understand the conditioning of mind and man’s dependence on it. Along with this dependence come hope and fear, elation and depression – the full range of man’s emotional experience. Such is the understanding of the sage, who has become the witnesser, life’s gift.


Comment Translator:

In spiritual circles it is common knowledge that man is not the doer and there are many scriptures repeating that man is not doer. Nevertheless time, events and actions are taken for real and expectations due to cause and effect remain present as a reality. Therefore man remains the same, whether he knows that he is a doer or knows that he is not the doer. 

 However, the sages, as well as this article written by a sage, proclaim, that time, events and actions happen as an illusion in the mind and not as an actuality in life and therefore cause and effect as well as expectations are illusory too.

 Clarity sets in, if it is meant to happen: No time – no event; no action – no doer; no mind – no expectation. What remains is just life‘s timeless, singular flow and trust in life, with the mind being absent as a reality yet mysteriously present as an illusion. 




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